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Whimsy and flamboyance is all well and good, but your choice
of email address has the potential to hurt you professionally
My little sister used to have a ridiculous email address. I won't
tell you it exactly – I don't want to flood her inbox – but it was
something similar to
"firstname.lastname@example.org". I asked her
about it a few times, and she said it was an inside joke between her
and her friends.
I see these kinds of email addresses all the time with my students.
(Put your hand up if you have one too...)
[quote]Whimsy and flamboyance is all well and good, but your choice
of email address has the potential to hurt you professionally. If you
choose not to be serious, well - it shouldn't be any surprise if
people don't take you seriously.[/quote]
What I'm talking about is looking a little more professional for
things like applying for a job. It's fine if your friends know you as
"email@example.com", but do you really
want that as your first impression? It's a bit like wearing thongs to
Take some extra time to make a new email address today for all your
formal, professional correspondence. A good bet is your
firstname.middleinitial.lastname. If you have a
common name, you might have to get creative, but again, don't go
overboard. Try different combinations of periods and underscores. For
example Jon Smith could try:
A little creativity and a touch of perseverance and you'll find one
Use Gmail or Yahoo mail or Microsoft's Outlook.com. Avoid more
exotic (and less professional looking) providers.
If you're more technically minded, you might even consider getting
your own domain. A domain (web address) is fairly cheap. If you shop
around, a .com would cost you under $15 a year.
However, a .com.au has a few restrictions on it, most notably you
need an ABN. An alternative would be an id.au. These domains are
intended to be used by Australian individuals. Again, you should be
able to get one for around $15 a year. I think
"firstname.lastname@example.org" looks much more
professional that "email@example.com".
Search for "gmail for your own domain" if
you want to hook up your own custom email address to Gmail. It's not
too hard and you won't have to pay extra for cloud storage of all
those new emails you'll be receiving.
My sister eventually gave up her fishy email address. It served her
into university, but she was embarrassed filling out job applications
after graduating. She found out that nobody would take
None of the addresses used in this article are the email addresses
of real people.